Oh my goodness, a whole month has flown by and I have not updated this blog - big apologies!!! I think I'm going to cut and paste some of my statuses from Daisy's Angels (www.facebook.com/daisysangels) from now on so that those who don't use facebook can still see what is happening in our lives...
It's been a funny few weeks, lots of real progress in terms of plans for Daisy, more emergency trips by ambulance and time at our local hospital and we are even managing time at home - for the first time in years I'm actually getting to spend part of the summer holidays with all the children under the same roof.
The biggest news is that we had our much anticipated meeting with Daisy's surgeon at Great Ormond Street. This was the meeting to discuss whether or not a colectomy was an option for her and whether he was even prepared to carry out the surgery. Andy and I had talked and talked about this prior to the meeting, veering from being 100% sure we wanted to go ahead to deciding that it was not an option as there were no guarantees. In the end meeting with the surgeon reassured us of the safety of performing the surgery, he will not perform a full proctocolectomy as this is just too big for anyone let alone Daisy, instead he will take out most of her large bowel which will hopefully massively reduce the colitis symptoms she experiences every day. It will also mean that she can come off the drugs which supress her immunity and render her at risk of infection and we can treat the colitis more conservatively. This will not be the only surgery Daisy will have at the time, Daisy's Urology surgeon will also perform surgery on her bladder at the same time to help manage the symptoms of it's deteriorating function. Initially the plan was to form a vesicostomy, a stoma, from the bladder into her abdomen to allow urine to drain out into a nappy. After much consultation and discussion however everyone agreed that this was not an option for Daisy, a little girl desparate to get out of nappies. Instead along with the colectomy surgery Daisy will have a Mitrofanoff procedure where the appendix which will be removed as part of the colectomy will be used to form a channel from her bladder to her abdomen allowing us to catheterise her intermittently. Individually these surgeries are big, performed together on a girl who is not in optimum health they are huge. She will need to spend some time post operatively in intensive care and it is likely that we will be looking at another prolonged stay in Great Ormond Street, however our hope, which comes with no guarantees, is that once she has recovered from the surgery, we can reduce some of the drugs she is on which have such awful side effects, her pain may be more manageable and she will be less susceptible to the infections which often lead to emergency trips to the hospital. Making the decision to go ahead with the surgery was the hardest decision we have had to make for Daisy - we don't know if it will make things better or worse but the main thing that swung it for us is that she or we can't keep going on as she is.
The pain she experiences, mainly at night, is getting worse - she now has regular doses of morphine plus ketamine and then when this doesn't work sedating medicine to help her sleep. We are seeing a big deterioration in her health, her hair is falling out, she is getting tireder. But her lust for life is immense - she managed very few days in school this year but every single day was packed to the brim, she won a medal in sports day, had fun times with her friends, learned new skills. She is vocalising more and more, singing away to herself in bed and her hands never stop signing. She has so much she needs to do and this is why we made the decision to go ahead with the surgery - desparate times call for desparate measures so although it doesn't have any guarantees to take the pain away we just hope that it will keep her hospital trips down and improve her quality of life so that she can enjoy the things she loves in life.
In the past month we have called 999 three times, each time Daisy has spiked high temperatures and developed sepsis, mainly from the bugs (ecoli & candida) which are permanent residents in her bladder. I used to drive her to hospital myself when she became ill but she is going downhill so quickly now we have been told not to risk it, so now the whole neighbourhood knows when Daisy has gone back into hospital. But as quickly as she goes downhill, Daisy can bounce back once she has had enough doses of IV antibiotics. So the moment she can come home we have been out and about having fun as a family. We visited Peppa Pig World earlier this week - Daisy was beside herself with excitement, as everyone who knows her knows, she adores Peppa Pig, almost as much as she loves Mickey and Minnie.
We are keeping everything crossed that we can also manage a trip to Devon towards the end of next week, Daisy will be able to meet her new cousin and we will be able to have a lunch to celebrate my mother's 70th birthday (Daisy will be in Great Ormond Street when it is Grandma's birthday so we are having an early celebration). We have been given a date of 9th September for Daisy's surgery, this gives us a few more weeks of family time and also hopefully gives us a chance to be out of hospital in time for Christmas. We are in Daisy's hands as always but have learned flexibility and whatever happens we will adapt to make the best of the situation.
Websites close to my heart
- Shooting Star Chase (Daisy's Hospice)
- Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity
- Torbay Holiday Helper's Network
- Sick Children's Trust
- Daisy's Angels - Facebook Page
- About Costello Syndrome
- Asperger Syndrome
- Caudwell Children
- Together for Short Lives (Children's Hospices in the UK)
- Costello Syndrome Support Group
- Give Kids The World
- PostPals - Putting Smiles on Sick Children's Faces
- Singing Hands (Daisy is their No1 Fan!)
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